It turns out that New Jersey is not all site visitors jams and industrial vistas—who knew? For 72 action-packed miles, the Appalachian Trail traverses the idyllic western area of the state from Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania to Lakeside, New Jersey. From glacial lakes to charming pastoral vistas, there’s lots to appear forward to in this compact section.
There are handful of notable climbs or descents in New Jersey. In reality, the southern half of the section comprises 1 continuous ridge stroll along the spine of Kittatinny Ridge. This is pretty mild hiking, even though the notorious rocky tread of northern Pennsylvania persists along the ridge. Nevertheless, the rocks do lastly abate following Higher Point State Park at the northern finish of the ridge. Right here, the trail descends from Kittatinny and largely remains under 1,000 feet in elevation for the remainder of New Jersey. The northernmost 30 miles of this section hug the border with New York closely, passing regularly by means of low-lying marshes and grasslands.
New Jersey Highlights
Mile 1295.7-1323.eight: Kittatinny Ridge
From Delaware Water Gap north, you can swing your legs a bit for 45 view-laden miles along Kittatinny Ridge. Appear for telltale indicators of glaciation everywhere on this traverse, from glacial tarns to scour marks in the exposed bedrock. The rocky nature of this stretch can make for tired feet at the finish of the day, but the hike itself is not strenuous. What’s a lot more, the rocks are not rather as jagged as the ones in “Painsylvania.”
Mile 1301.five: Sunfish Pond
Dip your feet and bask on the sunny shores of Sunfish Pond at mile 1301. In addition to just becoming beautiful, Sunfish has the honor of becoming the southernmost glacial lake on the AT, and the very first 1 northbound thru-hikers encounter on their trek to Maine.
Mile 1307.four Mohican Outside Center
Stick to a .four mile spur trail to this lodge operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The retreat is situated on glacial Catfish Lake, and presents lodging, meals, and boat rentals for hikers in will need of a semi-luxurious side trip.
Mile 1308.three: Catfish Lookout Tower
Who does not really like a fantastic fire tower? In the midst of your Kittatinny traverse, you will encounter the Catfish Lookout Tower. Be positive to climb the measures for vertiginous 360-degree views of the surrounding ridges and valleys. What’s a lot more, you can take a effectively deserved break afterwards at the picnic table close to the base of the tower.
Mile 1323.eight: Culver Gap
A short descent into Culver Gap and the town of Branchville, NJ breaks up the lengthy traverse of Kittatinny Ridge. Quit in at Gyp’s Tavern for an ice cold lakeside beer and a snack ahead of returning to your majestic ridge stroll.
Mile 1329.two: Sunrise Mountain Pavilion
A preferred location for neighborhood day hikers, the top rated of Sunrise Mountain functions breathtaking views, juicy wild blueberries, and a higher alpine really feel (even although it is just 1,600 feet above sea level). A CCC-constructed stone pavilion tends to make for a good lunch spot atop the mountain. Sunrise lives up to its name with majestic easterly views, but you will have to hike in from additional afield if you want to catch daybreak: camping is not permitted at the pavilion, and the Sunrise Mountain parking lot does not open till 8am.
Mile 1339.1: Higher Point
Soaring to the heavens at more than 1,700 feet elevation, the wooden lookout tower you will scramble up at mile 1339 is not essentially the accurate higher point of the state. That is marked by the stone obelisk you will see from the viewing platform, some 1,804 feet above sea level. There’s a .three-mile spur trail to the obelisk just north of the wooden lookout.
Mile 1349.7: Wallkill Reserve
The trail follows the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge’s Liberty Loop for roughly two miles, touring a modest section of the reserve’s five,100 acres of protected land. Keen-eyed hikers can spot bog turtles, salamanders, and hundreds of species of birds (which includes bald and golden eagles) in this pristine wetland.
Mile 1357.1: Pochuck Creek bridge and boardwalk
Cross a suspension bridge more than Pochuck Creek and traipse by means of almost a mile of surrounding marshland by means of a picturesque boardwalk. Like the Wallkill reserve additional south, these wetlands are a prime place to view birds and other wildlife.
New Jersey Dispatches
Extra From This Series
All mileages taken from The 2019 AT Northbound Guide, by David “AWOL” Miller
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